Ahh the sweet, sweet scent of E3, it came and left in what seemed to be ten minutes, when the wait was almost eternal. But hey, within those ten minutes Activision was without a doubt the biggest and most populated 3rd party publisher there. Showcasing games like, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 for GameBoy Advance, THPS2X for XBox, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 for PS2, and especially Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for PS2. Attendants cluttered the floor to check out the game and lines were as long as half an hour. During E3 2001, Activision released a Press Kit CD filled with dozens and dozens of games, one of which highlights -you guessed it- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. So here I am, delivering to you the full scoop on THPS3 and topping off the favor with some luscious screenshots for your drooling pleasure. Enjoy.
We truly have come a long way, the 128-bit leap for Tony means massive levels, at least three times the size of what they originally were. As these early screenshots show, you will not be limited to exploration anymore, the world is your skate park, use it. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3's environments are downright amazing, it's hard to believe what Neversoft is going to accomplish with this sequel. The developer is aiming at a living and breathing environment, cars will roam roads, pedestrians will roam sidewalks, cross the street and even jump out of your way.. imagine that! Well you don't have to, THPS3 is a reality, a living breathing environment is exactly what you'll face in Tony Hawk 3. The skater detail is incredibly solid, excellent usage of polygons and extremely gorgeous texture detail makes this one of the prettiest looking titles out there. If you've seen the facial animation already, then you'll surely agree with me that Neversoft is doing a spectacular job and re-inventing a genre that was thought to be perfected.
I have already ruled in Gran Turismo 3: A Spec as my first "Game of the Year" nominee, and it certainly looks as if Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 will get similar treatment, come November 2001. A "living, breathing, environment", it's pretty self-explanatory, and what it means is that you'll be surrounded in an atmosphere of real time. Pedestrians will cross the street when they're supposed to, cars will halt at changing traffic lights and as I've mentioned earlier some pedestrians will leap out of your way. Now we already know what to expect from THPS3, in terms of gameplay modes; Career, Free Skate, 2 Player, Single Session and etc. But what happens when you actually play an open area city such as Los Angeles or Tokyo? Well as you can see in one of the images, Tony Hawk is getting his much due respect from a couple of street skaters, who were obviously impressed by Tony. Some of these skaters may want to challenge you, and if you succeed the skater and his friends will give you "props". These challengers will roam around in open area stages such as Tokyo and LA, so don't expect to see them in closed skate park courses.
Tony Hawk 3's roster is as follows: Bam Margera (MTV's Jackass), Steve Caballero, Rune Glifberg, Eric Koston, Bucky Lasek, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, Andrew Reynolds, Geoff Rowley, Elissa Steamer, Jamie Thomas, and last but certainly not least Tony Hawk. As you can see there is a strange absence of Kareem Cambell and Bob Burnquist. Kareem Cambell I can't explain, but Burnquist I can. He was signed onto Konami's ESPN X-Games Skateboarding title due to hit the PS2 this Summer, and on top of that will definitely pose a big threat to THPS3, as the game is coming along quite nicely. With online gameplay recently announced and confirmed by Activision/Neversoft, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 will certainly be one the best games for the year 2001. Look for it in November.